Belfast Telegraph

I'll do better than poll ratings, tetchy Gay Mitchell insists

By Fionnan Sheahan

Fine Gael's candidate still maintains he will do better than the polls are suggesting.

In trademark fashion, it took him 45 seconds to get tetchy with the media and 1 minute 45 seconds to get into an argument over the questions he was being asked.

Despite trailing in the polls, Gay Mitchell ruled out recommending where those Fine Gael supporters still backing him should give transfers.

"I don't think there will be any transfer pacts. I certainly don't have any view on it myself. There are seven candidates and it is going to go down to transfers and I think the election could go any way," he said.

"I think I will do far better in number ones than the polls are saying and I am going to need transfers myself, so I don't have any pact with anybody and I am not going to be making any recommendations."

After an exchange earlier in the morning with a local radio host, Mr Mitchell began to get testy again over further questions about the polls.

"Let's just see tomorrow. The votes will be carried tomorrow. I've been asked about the colour of my shirt, what it costs, all sorts of things."

Canvassing in St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, the Dublin MEP objected to the campaign's media focus.

"I'm very unhappy with the number of times I have been asked about polls and the campaign and never been asked about the presidency or the fact that we have 437,000 people unemployed and the President can make a real difference," he said.

And his interview ended abruptly with a customary attack on the media.

"It's clear to me that people need to look at the media and particularly the media that you represent and ask for some sort of standards," Mr Mitchell said.

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